Why Are There Poor

The emphasis of the current Parshiot is the importance of giving generously to the construction of the Mishkan. Similarly, we are to show kindness and generosity in helping the poor.

The Talmud in בבא בתרא has a dialogue between רבי עקיבא and the Roman Emperor Turnisrufus. The Roman felt that being poor was a sign of rejection by Hashem. Therefore, giving him charity would be going against G-d’s wishes.

Rabbi Akiva explained that there exist poor in order to give merits to the wealthy where the giver can gain great merit.

The מכתב מאליהו goes a step further by saying that there are rich and poor in the world in order to present challenges to each of them. Based on the Midrash, he shows that the poor gain a double merit in the next world. They become the vessel in which the wealthy are able to perform the Mitzva of צדקה, and are rewarded again if they accept their fate and don’t become negative or bitter about their fate.

Hashem has created a complex system of challenges for different members of society. We all must be careful to act in a way that is right and just in the eyes of G-d. Shabbat Shalom